Are Manchester United doing a Chelsea?

Whether due to several key injuries or because of the dreadful defending of late, Jose Mourinho not only shuffled his pack but also his formation against Swansea – to great effect.

Some pundits called it a 4-1-4-1. We preferred to think of this Manchester United line up as 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2.

Since Chelsea reverted to three in defence and threw some mobile wingbacks in there they have been a team transformed and have risen up the league at a rate of knots to quickly overtake the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Totters.

And Manchester United employed a similar tactic against Swansea which worked well with the available players.

Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo may be lacking form and fitness. But they are out and out defenders who did ugly bits well against Swansea. But the reason it worked so well was that they had Michael Carrick purring alongside them. All they had to do was break up attacks and pass the ball five yards the England man. He did the rest.

On the wings, Matteo Darmian had his best game for Manchester United in the left wingback position. He looked more assured that at any time so far in his Manchester United career.

On the right you always know that Ashley Young will put in a shift and he never stopped running.

Perhaps the midfield and attack profited most from this formation. Paul Pogba was allowed the freedom to roam from his position on the left of a midfield three with Fellaini and Mata there to assist. Pogba scored a stunner and generally looked more comfortable than at any time since his big move to Manchester United.

And it was great to see Wayne Rooney looking so spritely and industrious. He looked a stone lighter than the sluggish player who started the season and we should expect to see more of him in the coming weeks. He played behind Zlatan and slightly to the left of a compact, well organised and highly experienced team.

Perhaps we will see more of this formation because it was the most convincing Manchester United display yet under Jose.

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